Half a Breath

We were barreling around the beltway.  It was late, too late to be out, and we were tired.  We were heading to the retreat which I was dreading and tensions were a little high.  The discussion was centered around a variety of topics, most of which would have been better tackled at a different time and place.  I suddenly realized that I was all but holding my breath.  I was aware of my lungs filling but not fully and of my hands gripping the steering wheel in tight J shapes.  I started to wonder how often I walk around like that – taking half a breath.  The great thing about awareness is that you can then do something about it.  And sometimes you literally have to remind yourself to breathe.